All charges dropped against man accused in Bethel apartment fire that killed 3

a firetruck outside of an apartment
(Olivia Ebertz/KYUK)

All charges have been dropped against a man who was charged earlier this week in an Aug. 12 fire that killed three at an apartment complex in Bethel.

Adam Andrew had been charged with three counts of murder in the second degree and one count of arson, along with seven more felonies and six misdemeanors.

According to court documents, Bethel Police Department Investigator Skyler Smith had relied on the testimony of just one 15-year-old eyewitness who said he saw Andrew start the fire.

Prosecutor Chris Knowles would not say whether the fire was still being investigated as arson or whether they were looking at other causes. He did say there is still an active investigation and that Bethel Police Department is still investigating all leads.

The fire started last Friday at around 4 a.m. at Bethel’s Association of Village Council Presidents Regional Housing Authority townhouses.

Family members identified the people who died as Elder Sophie Engebreth, 15-year-old Melissa Engebreth and 13-year-old Brianna Engebreth. Melissa and Brianna were Sophie’s granddaughters by birth and daughters by adoption.

Five more people were injured. Neighbors said that no sprinklers or fire alarms went off during the fire.

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